Wisconsin Democrat Senate candidate won’t say whether he owns stocks in companies that benefit from Uyghur slave labor

Wisconsin Democrat Senate candidate Alex Lasry quietly sold at least $100,000 in stocks linked to Chinese surveillance while projecting a tough-on-China stance, but he declined to say whether he held stocks linked to Uyghur slave labor.

As of August, financial disclosures said Lasry owned corporate securities stock in tech companies Tencent and Alibaba, as well as investments in Inditex and Seagate Technology, which some experts say are profiting off forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.

Lasry told the Washington Free Beacon that he sold his investments in Tencent and Alibaba “months ago,” but did not say whether he also divested from Inditex, Seagate, and Chindata, the latter of which has been labeled a security threat by the U.S.

It has been a struggle for Lasry to overcome a perception that he is soft on China, bolstered in part by his position as Senior Vice President for the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA team his father owns. The NBA has extensive ties to China because of the huge popularity of the sport there.

“Great time” to invest in China

In addition, Lasry’s father Marc is a billionaire hedge fund investor who has been praising China as a lucrative investment opportunity. In May, Marc Lasry said at an investment forum that “now is a great time to be investing in China” and that its growth is “through the roof.”

The Wisconsin Senate race will be one of the most competitive during the midterms, as the Democrats hope to gain the seat of incumbent Republican Ron Johnson.

Lasry is only one of several Democrats considered frontrunners for the Democrat nomination to the seat. Others include sitting Wisconsin lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes and state treasurer Sarah Godlewski.

Still, he has reportedly already spent $2.3 million of his own money on the campaign, including the tough-on-China rebranding attempt.

Swing voters looking at China connections

While most Democrats don’t seem to care much about whether a candidate is closely tied to China, Wisconsin is a swing state, and the candidate nominated will need to get at least some Republican votes to win.

A December poll by the Ronald Reagan Institute showed that 52% of Americans viewed China as the biggest threat to America. It was the first time in the poll’s history that a majority agreed with that statement.

As recently as 2018, only 21% viewed China as the biggest threat to the U.S., while 30% thought it was Russia.

Chinese-friendly candidates like Lasry could be seen as guilty by association.

Latest News